1

thread

noun \ ˈthred \
Updated on: 5 Dec 2017

Definition of thread

1 a : a filament, a group of filaments twisted together, or a filamentous length formed by spinning and twisting short textile fibers into a continuous strand
b : a piece of thread
2 a : any of various natural filaments
  • the threads of a spiderweb
b : a slender stream (as of water)
c : a projecting helical rib (as in a fitting or on a pipe) by which parts can be screwed together : screw thread
3 : something continuous or drawn out: such as
a : a line of reasoning or train of thought that connects the parts in a sequence (as of ideas or events)
  • lost the thread of the story
b : a continuing element
  • a thread of melancholy marked all his writing
c : a series of electronic messages (as on a message board or social media website) following a single topic or in response to a single message
4 : a tenuous or feeble support
  • hung on by a thread
5 threads plural : clothing

threadless

play \ˈthred-ləs\ adjective

threadlike

play \ˈthred-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of thread in a Sentence

  1. A thread was hanging from the hem of her coat.

  2. the unwary bug was snared in the sticky threads of the spider's web

Recent Examples of thread from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thread.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of thread

Middle English thred, from Old English thrǣd; akin to Old High German drāt wire, Old English thrāwan to cause to twist or turn — more at 1throw

thread Synonyms

Synonyms
bristle, fiber, filament, hair
Related Words
microfiber; cord, rope, string, wire, yarn; fuzz, tuft

2

thread

verb

Definition of thread

transitive verb
1 a : to pass a thread through the eye of (a needle)
b : to arrange a thread, yarn, or lead-in piece in working position for use in (a machine)
2 a (1) : to pass something through in the manner of a thread
  • thread a pipe with wire
(2) : to pass (something, such as a tape, line, or film) into or through something
  • threaded a fresh roll of film into the camera
b : to make one's way through or between
  • threading narrow alleys
; also : to make one's way usually cautiously through a hazardous situation
3 : to put together on or as if on a thread : string
  • thread beads
4 : to interweave with or as if with threads : intersperse
  • dark hair threaded with silver
5 : to form a screw thread on or in
intransitive verb
1 : weave 2
  • the car threaded through traffic
2 : to form a thread

threader

noun

Examples of thread in a Sentence

  1. She threaded her shoelace through the holes.

  2. thread film through a camera

  3. They had to thread their way through the crowd.

  4. Waiters threaded through the crowd.

  5. a river that threads through narrow valleys

Recent Examples of thread from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thread.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of thread

14th century



THREAD Defined for English Language Learners

thread

noun

Definition of thread for English Language Learners

  • : a long, thin piece of cotton, silk, etc., used for sewing

  • : a long, thin line of something

  • : the raised line that winds around a screw


thread

verb

Definition of thread for English Language Learners

  • : to put a thread, string, rope, etc., through a hole in something

  • : to put (film or tape) into a movie camera, tape recorder, etc., so that it is ready to be used

  • : to move forward by turning and going through narrow spaces


THREAD Defined for Kids

1

thread

noun \ ˈthred \

Definition of thread for Students

1 : a thin fine cord formed by spinning and twisting short fibers into a continuous strand
2 : a thin fine line or strand of something
  • a thread of light
3 : the ridge or groove that winds around a screw
4 : a train of thought that connects the parts of something (as an argument or story)

threadlike

\-ˌlīk\ adjective

2

thread

verb

Definition of thread for Students

threaded; threading
1 : to put a thread in working position (as in a needle)
2 : to pass something through another thing
  • Thread the film through the camera.
3 : to make a way through or between
  • He rushes on and on … threading his way with perfect skill between tree-trunks …
  • —C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
4 : to put together on a thread : string


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